Browsing Category: "News"

3G iPhone Coming in 60 Days

Saturday, April 5th, 2008 | News with 1 Comment

Walt Mossberg mentioned today in a conference that in 60 days a 3G iPhone will be released. This could also mean some serious price cuts. Another rumor we’ve heard is that it’ll also sport a glossy black backside instead of the metallic looking backside.

Apple Patents show Flip Iphone

Monday, March 17th, 2008 | News with 1 Comment


It’s rare that Apple’s patents actually show the exact form factors of devices they have in development, but this “dual sided trackpad” patent for a phone seems to definitely show that they’ve got some flipphone version coming up. The patent itself outlines a phone that has two multitouch sensors, both on the “bottom” part of the phone. When it’s closed, the phone acts like your current model iPhone. When it’s open, only the bottom part of the phone is touch-sensitive, whereas the top part is just a display.

The top/bottom touchscreen difference has the interesting effect of bringing some new features such as actually drawing out a number on the touchpad, rotating and old school dial (?), simulating a T9 dialpad, or even having both sides of the touchscreen active at once for some crazy control.

What’s the point of this? Besides new features, apparently many people HATE the candybar form factor and won’t even consider a phone a real phone unless it’s a clamshell.

A Taste of iPhone Gaming to Come

Monday, March 17th, 2008 | News with 3 Comments

A French company has sent out a sample of a game called Crazy Kart 2 which boosting about 60 FPS framerate using a software-only engine. The game is still in production, but it seems rather ambitious, with multi-player support, downloadable vehicles, and the possibility of motion-tilt-steering (currently the game is touch screen only).

Before now, no one was really sure that kind of graphics we’d be seeing for the iPhone, so far everything looks better then I expected.

Nike’s SportBand Coming in April?

Saturday, March 15th, 2008 | News with No Comments »

Recent news has come out about the new Nike+ running device called SportBand. The armband will still be wireless and still require you to shove a Nike+ kit into your shoe in order to track how fast/far you run, but you won’t have to carry an iPod Nano on you. Once you are done your workout, just take out the attached USB stick and visit the Nike website to view your running results.

iPod Sighted Inside Space Shuttle From Inside the International Space Station

Friday, March 14th, 2008 | News with 1 Comment

iss016e032312s.jpgYesterday a photo of the the Endeavor was taken from the International Space Station only to find an iPod near the co-pilots window.

Surprisingly this isn’t the first time the iPod has been seen in space, however it is the first time It’s been seen in space from someone in a different space vehicle. Pretty cool picture, Here’s the image in high resolution.

Apple’s Design Process

Monday, March 10th, 2008 | News with 1 Comment


Interesting presentation at SXSW from Michael Lopp, senior engineering manager at Apple, who tried to assess how Apple can ‘get’ design when so many other companies try and fail. After describing Apple’s process of delivering consumers with a succession of presents (“really good ideas wrapped up in other really good ideas” — in other words, great software in fabulous hardware in beautiful packaging), he asked the question many have asked in their time: “How the f*ck do you do that?” (South by Southwest is at ease with its panelists speaking earthily.) Then he went into a few details:

Pixel Perfect Mockups
This, Lopp admitted, causes a huge amount of work and takes an enormous amount of time. But, he added, “it removes all ambiguity.” That might add time up front, but it removes the need to correct mistakes later on.
10 to 3 to 1
Apple designers come up with 10 entirely different mock ups of any new feature. Not, Lopp said, “seven in order to make three look good”, which seems to be a fairly standard practice elsewhere. They’ll take ten, and give themselves room to design without restriction. Later they whittle that number to three, spend more months on those three and then finally end up with one strong decision.

Paired Design Meetings
This was really interesting. Every week, the teams have two meetings. One in which to brainstorm, to forget about constraints and think freely. As Lopp put it: to “go crazy”. Then they also hold a production meeting, an entirely separate but equally regular meeting which is the other’s antithesis. Here, the designers and engineers are required to nail everything down, to work out how this crazy idea might actually work. This process and organization continues throughout the development of any app, though of course the balance shifts as the app progresses. But keeping an option for creative thought even at a late stage is really smart.

Pony Meeting
This refers to a story Lopp told earlier in the session, in which he described the process of a senior manager outlining what they wanted from any new application: “I want WYSIWYG… I want it to support major browsers… I want it to reflect the spirit of the company.” Or, as Lopp put it: “I want a pony!” He added: “Who doesn’t? A pony is gorgeous!” The problem, he said, is that these people are describing what they think they want. And even if they’re misguided, they, as the ones signing the checks, really cannot be ignored.

The solution, he described, is to take the best ideas from the paired design meetings and present those to leadership, who might just decide that some of those ideas are, in fact, their longed-for ponies. In this way, the ponies morph into deliverables. And the C-suite, who are quite reasonable in wanting to know what designers are up to, and absolutely entitled to want to have a say in what’s going on, are involved and included. And that helps to ensure that there are no nasty mistakes down the line.